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JIT learning

Social experience around choosing mutual goals with similar commitments at the level that works for you.

Photo of ted selker
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Written by

I am a.....

  • Professor of Human computer interaction

Tell us about your idea

Just in time learning

Ted Selker

We are motivated to learn not just by its own momentum but by the commitments we make to others and the pride and connection we get in knowing and sharing. 

Too many of us students are in classes that are at the wrong level for us.  Too many of us are not well motivated by the system or teachers or even our own support network of friends. We want it to be a collaboration between learners and teachers.  School too often veers from our purpose and goal to  our required dreary dreaded responsibility.  It should give us a feeling of new motivated mastery  but instead sometimes it makes us feel overwhelmed and inadequate.

Today’s leisure use of social media can seem aimless.  It needn’t be. This idea is creating a social network where people post their interest, level of knowledge, time and energy they can commit to leaning towads the interest.  A small just in time learning  community is then born out of mutual desires to learn and to meet others interested in learning a topic together.  These groups can be held together by a mentor or group will.  They can be suggested or come from personal initiative. They use a platform that allows the results to accrue and become known and seen.  For minors and for people in K-12 there are monitors and lists of topics, curricula and suggested goals that can chosen too.

It is hard to learn alone.  I tried to learn what I needed to get a ham radio license by myself at 9 years old. I met a friend that was willing to do it with me at 12. We made a little progress.  Finally, we found a ham radio club with a group doing it together with a mentor. We were half anyone there’s age. We stuck together and were study buddies.   The structure and support were critical and in a couple months we had mastered topics like Hartley oscillators, Morse code and got our Novice Ham licenses.

Everything successful for people has a social element. The experience of MOOC’s has shown that the social groups around the courses is an important element of the course’s successes.  Learning requires doing not just listening and making the community and goals the center can focus attention on the desire to work together and the need to show.

A Just in time learning platform can have graphical representation of the self-made or joined course and group goals.  It will encourage private and public focused time.   It can have tools to develop and share personal and group projects.  Starting in the 1970s We have seen how SAIL allowed people to collaborate where two screens shared the same display and controls.  In the 1980s COLAB took a different approach of  structured collaboration that  pushed groups to focus across computers.  Now we have explosions of tools allowing people to show each other at a distance how to do it or to do it for each other.  Such collaboration happens in design tools and fantacy games as well.  We can make more powerful tools that collect the learning  success as we engage in mutual, hand over hand or mentored remote explorations, partial and complete success.

This then is request to join me  to create a kind of social media, that is focused entirely on people creating mutual success and direction to do things to progress towards a learning goal.  Lets design it to bring new people in to learners lives, make them feel in control of their learning,  motivate them to fill out their weaknesses in safety and to enjoy and stretch their strengths.  The focus of the platform has to be collecting the structure that teams built to create curricula from learning goals and supporting created solutions that fit it.  The platform has to celebrate the space to explore and still allow structured supervision where progress itself is recognized and rewarded.

What part(s) of the pre-COVID school system do you wish to leave in the past? Why?

:Lets leave behind the dreary though shalt , condescending and restless and trapped feelings. Lets figure out how to harness our grouping desires to further not hamper our self esteem and learning progress.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what inspired you to share this idea.

Ted Selker lives to make innovativion help people

Ted’s PhD showed that AI to make project based learning more enjoyable and productive.  He created many project based teaching technologies ranging from  PBS’s online LivingCenter to work with people with dementia to  Polling Place Support tool  created to train and support voting workers. Ted has run project base teaching experiences as a professor at MIT, CMU and Stanford and  for many communities from classrooms to museums.

Ted's innovation has been responsible for successful products. His design of the TrackPoint in-keyboard pointing device is used in many notebook computers. His visual interface work has made impacts in the performance of the PowerPC, usability in OS/2, ThinkPad setup, maps, etc.     Ted was given the American Association for People with Disabilities Thomas Paine Award for his work on voting technology, and was co-recipient of the Computer Science Policy Leader Award for Scientific American 50. 

What region are you located in?

  • North America

Where are you located?

Palo Alto


Join the conversation:

Photo of Oliver Fabian Avila Tamayo

Hello ted, I was thinking kind of steps we/you can do to taste your idea quickly.


The main idea of the social should be shorts and quickly questions-help. Or for example at least a short advicering. Rout of learning.

If we want to test the success of this idea, not start creating and desining anything. BECAUSE WHAT IS REALLY IMPORTANT IS NOT THE PAGE, IS WHAT THERE IS INSIDE.

So, critical necesary things:
//Comunication (it could be a short date by calling 10 minutes, no more! )
People can publish what they know.
People who is looking for help can send a request to this person//

Let´s make a prototype and test !

We need

- skype for video calling
- lets find 20 volunters. (what they know and what if they need ( you take the information).

LET START! I am the first volunteer.

My name is OLIVE. Right now I am trying to learn robotic. I want to learn ROS. But I am feeling kind of stuck with so much information... who can help me ? please. Kisses !

I have experience into desing and built an exoeskeleton.. Someone need my help?

Photo of ted selker

-lets then find 5or6 people that want to devote 3 times a week 1 hour to communicating about and inspiring thier joint learning about ROS.
We can use googledocs to store each person's work and the joint transcript.
Now we go find your 4 other learner/teachers. and start Wed?

Photo of Oliver Fabian Avila Tamayo

let´s start ted.
But i think to make the page successfull. We need to make the page do not take so much time from the person who knows. I mean.. for example. if right now I find someone who knows about ros he/she can give me some kind of advices (because what you say, we also learn and help because what other people says to you) So in this case i do not need 3 or 4 people to start learning ros. I just need someone with experience who talks to me 10 minutes and give me right and critical advices to show me the way. No more. Then other day I would be able to do another question...

I think this is the most importan factor to make this page sucess... The person "Who knows" can not being a kind of slave... he/she is just an advicer. People "who does not know" can qualify his/her perfil giving kind of thanks... and because those thanks.. Because anyone have all the time to be being a online teacher full time, even I do not have all the time to be compromise with others full time... I am trying to be comprimise myself. Tell me what you think ted. In my opinion it could be a really great project.. we do not need so much to taste th success. and then we can starting developing the online page deeply.

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